Liberal peacebuilding and UNSCR 1325 in the Congo : challenging prevailing logic of governance and re-thinking policy objectives
Smith, Alexandra Jenny
May 11, 2016
Despite extensive peacebuilding efforts in the Congo, with constant advancements seeking to make existing policy more effective and radically transform normative practice, conflict rages on in the "failed" Congolese state. This thesis asks, what logic continues to undergird even the most "foundational fixes" to the construction and operationalization of (failing) peacebuilding policy? What is it about this logic that makes peacebuilding efforts particularly problematic in the Congo? And how can an examination of this logic unveil larger truths about the limitations of today’s international peacebuilding efforts? This thesis identifies this logic as "liberal peace building’s prevailing logic of governance." This logic drives that construction of the liberal state as the ultimate peace building objective, whereby the state is to be the prevailing form of political authority, exercising a particular model of good governance, and legitimized by a strong social contract. Through and examination of liberal peacebuilding policy and its improvements (particularly United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325) in the Congo, I argue that this logic of governance delineates the bounds within which peacebuilding policy can develop and advance, precludes alternate understandings of power and authority, and ultimately limits prospects for sustainable peace.
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